February 27, 2022

At a press conference this afternoon, Governor Hochul announced the end of the mask mandate in schools, effective Wednesday, March 2. She cited declining metrics for making this decision, including a decrease in COVID cases and hospitalizations, as well as new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday.

As a result, masks are still required in school and on buses Monday and Tuesday as we wait to review and implement new school guidance. Starting Wednesday, masks will be a personal choice in our schools.  As a school community we will respect everyone’s right to choose for themselves.

We ask parents and guardians to speak with their child(ren) about personal choice and respect for each other’s personal decisions. We will not tolerate any bullying of students or staff who choose to continue to wear a mask . 

We understand that this announcement may have a mixed reaction from parents, students and staff. 

Throughout the pandemic, we have relied on guidelines set forth by the State Department of Health and State Education Department in partnership with the county health department. 

Conditions are improving locally and across the state. Test positivity is now at the lowest rate since last fall. Our schools also distribute at-home test kits to families - a mitigation tool that was scarcely available in the past. We encourage families to test their child(ren) this evening prior to sending them back to school tomorrow, February 28.  Anyone testing positive should isolate at home and contact their school’s office. Please use this link to report any positives from at-home testing on February 27th.

Thank you for your continued patience, cooperation and understanding. We will share additional information on the new guidance as soon as it is available.

Tammy J. Sutherland, Interim Superintendent of School